by S. Rotan Hale
Jazz, a true American invention, is one of the most underrated art forms to date, especially in its own country of origin. Born from a combination of musical improvisation, syncopation and swinging rhythms, this most dynamic medium in its many forms, integrates ethnic nuances with unconventional yet technical rudiments and engages the performer, as well as listener, into a world of blissful rhythmic imagery–that for some, can be quite spiritual.
Anyone who has fallen under the spell of a multi-piece jazz band playing in perfect unison, can testify to the experience as being exceptionally satisfying.
This whole synopsis is ever so applicable to the swinging, infectious sounds of big band music–like that performed April 5th by the Community College Access Program (CCAP) Jazz Honor Band at Roanoke’s Jefferson Center.
The hour-long concert, with one intermission, was played before a sizable audience and involved over 30 students from area high schools who performed under the direction of jazz trumpeter Brandon Lee as guest conductor.
Lee is a first-year assistant professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program, University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG).
As a professional musician he’s played with a host of big bands and world-class musicians as Clark Terry, Christian McBride, Vincent Herring, Benny Golson and Hank Jones to name a few. He also was selected by Wynton Marsalis to perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for a Louis Armstrong special which aired on PBS in Dec. of 2000.
Lawrence “Lonnie” Johns recently received the “Commendation for Quality Service” Award from the Mid-Atlantic Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC MIDLANT) in Norfolk, VA. Mr. Johns, Architect and Design Manager, was designated “Every Day Hero” of the Northeast Integrated Product Team for the period of October-December 2013. He was specifically recognized for his design renovations on two difficult projects for the naval base in Newport, RI.
“More Love Movement” creator dr. judi Love bowman and Victor Q. Banks, along with their armor bearers (Brenda Keeling, Vonda Wright, Jeffrey Keeling, Nikki Wright and Justine Keeling), the coaches of Melrose Athletic Club, Inc. (James Cabbler, David Viar and Danny Witcher) and the ambassadors of the Renaissance Academy hosted the “More Love” Luncheon Saturday, April 5.
by Jessica A. Roberts
Imagine you are in a car accident and have to be rushed to the hospital. Who do you expect to be there to take your vitals? You’re taking a flight across the nation. Who do you expect to be in the pilot’s seat? You’ve been called into court. Who do you expect to be in the judge’s chair? Michelle Fisherpoff, troop leader of Girl Scout Troop 1180, recently opened a panel discussion titled, “Girls Conquer Challenges” with similar questions.